Jump to content
IronFilm

Which Sound Recorder to buy? A guide to various indie priced sound recorders in 2017

Recommended Posts

@IronFilm Beauty of a topic, worthy of a good bump although I need your wizard opinion on something else audio related (and figured opening an entire topic would be excessive 😜 ).

With the Canon G7 X Mark III and Sony RX100 VII out... featuring a side mic port... what would be a nifty solution without resorting to off-camera mounts?

I just remembered that like almost a decade ago the Sony ECM-DS70P was a popular electret condenser stereo mic, that even was faked a lot in China (still is, they sell for under $5 bucks lol, think I even had one at some point).

nN9vAbM_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&f

Wouldn't that be the perfect solution to getting audio from in-front and behind the camera for generic vlogging and capturing? Doesn't have to be award winning, just good enough not to mess about with other solutions... keen to hear your thoughts on that (and alternatives I might not know about). Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I think you already know my views that a mic mounted on a camera is one of the worst options. 

What is it you are trying to capture? If it is just a single person in front of the camera say for interviews or vlogging, then run a lav straight into it. I use an Aputure A.Lav for my YT vlogs going into my Panasonic G6. 


 

9 hours ago, Cinegain said:

what would be a nifty solution without resorting to off-camera mounts?

Why not use a mount if the camera is missing a cold shoe? A flash bracket still is cheap / lightweight. image.png.2348192d5b4651d25fd83e83fbde1ede.png

But if you truly MUST (at a great compromise to audio quality) use an on camera mic plugged straight into the 3.5mm port without any cold shoe, then this would maaaaybe be your least worst option: Saramonic SR-XM1

https://www.amazon.com.au/Saramonic-Omnidirectional-Microphone-Camcorders-SmartMixer/dp/B01N6P80OQ/

image.png.e7d65833b3689a66d819dec52cc47218.png


She is using an even smaller mounting bracket:
 


You can tell how the audio sounds like night vs day when she compares internal mic / Saramonic / lav

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Travelstuff. So stuff that's happening in front of the cam mostly. Not really vlogging (but perhaps live narrating, hence I thought the Sony stereo mic would pick up from in front and behind the camera simultaneously), but who knows. Main point: doesn't add much to the camera itself. A lav won't do me any good for my scenario (do have the Aputure one for a while now as well) and can't really be arsed to frankenrig things up and always carry around brackets and shockmounted shotguns. Seen a lot of mentions of the Saramonic SR-XM1 indeed. Only checked out one video and that was kind of disappointing. Maybe that person didn't really know what they were doing, I'll check into it some more see if it's acceptable enough.

Thanks for the feedback! Appreciated. WIll give that some consideration.😄 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Cinegain said:

@IronFilm Beauty of a topic, worthy of a good bump although I need your wizard opinion on something else audio related (and figured opening an entire topic would be excessive 😜 ).


Also wow, hasn't time flown:

"Which Sound Recorder to buy? A guide to various indie priced sound recorders in 2017"

22 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

Not really vlogging (but perhaps live narrating, hence I thought the Sony stereo mic would pick up from in front and behind the camera simultaneously), but who knows.

Doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Because you'd be diminishing the quality of your audio by mixing in with it everything else. 

23 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

Only checked out one video and that was kind of disappointing.

It's disappointing because it is a crap solution....  like I said in my previous post. 
It is barely a step up from using the internal mic, maybe. 

 

27 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

Travelstuff. So stuff that's happening in front of the cam mostly.

What kind of travel stuff? If it is fairly generic ambiances of a location then one approach I might consider is:

1) lav into the camera itself for when I'm narrating

2) a Tascam DR-05X in my pocket to pull out and record a couple minutes of stereo ambiance for each general "scene" I'm in to mix in later on during post

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2017 at 2:47 AM, IronFilm said:

Wrote up a little guide for people new to this and looking to buy their first recorder. And is the way I see the world of low budget recorders is they're ranked like this (starting from worst/cheapest to best/expensive):

Tascam DR22WL / Zoom H1 (I'd suggest skipping right over this tier of recorders! But hey, my first ever short film I did years ago was with a chinese shotgun running straight into a Zoom H1!! :-o Shocking but true... everyone starts somewhere!)

Tascam DR60D mk2 (the DR60D mk1, before the mk2 came out, is what I myself started out using for no budget shorts as a budding location sound recordist)

Tascam DR70D (the *minimum* I'd recommend for a location sound recordist, even if you're just a student / no budget guy. Although in desperate cases, you could scrape by with getting the DR60Dmk2, but doing the opposite and stretching for an F4 is very worthwhile. Certainly, I could travel back in time I'd just have gone straight for the Zoom F4 from the starts! *Except* the F4 didn't come out until a few years later...  you live in a very lucky time with so many wonderful options to choose from!) or Tascam DR680 (these can be found at bargain prices secondhand, which is what I did before I then later on purchased a Zoom F4 once that came out & I spotted an F4 at a good price)

Zoom F4 / Zoom F8  / Sound Devices MixPre6 (I skip right over the MixPre3, as the MixPre6 is very similar yet does so so much more at only a relatively small extra cost. Also I regard the three of F4/F8/MixPre6 as all on broadly the same level to each other, just varying slightly from each other in one area or another that ones might have a small lead over the other one. This is the tier where I'd see you're now reaching the semi-pro level)

Sound Devices 633 / Zaxcom Maxx / Sanosax SX-R4+ (finally you have now got up to the "industry standard" when it comes to recorders people use for small shoots, especially when mixing from the bag. If you're doing this full time as your job or hiring someone who is, then likely this is what is being used. Either that or similar gear, or even something better above this)

And if you considering ones priced above those last three....  you're surely doing this full time as a sound recordist and getting a healthy income from that, so why are you asking us here on Frugal Filmmaker? ha! :-P But yes, tonnes and tonnes more options exist at the higher end as well!

Finally, if you're considering something in the budget range within what I just covered, but isn't one of those that I mentioned, then it probably is *not* a good idea to buy if you're intending to be a location sound recordist. 

Something else only might *maybe* make sense if you've got in mind some other purpose for it, such as perhaps you want to record a band in a studio (which has very different needs / constraints), or you're the rare exception which proves the rule, or you are getting lucky finding some amazingly priced deal which can make an otherwise bad purchase decision then make sense if "the price is right".

For instance I didn't include the Roland R88, as I feel it is extremely poor value for money in 2017! However.... there was a time at the end of 2016 when the Roland R88 got a huge price drop because it was being discontinued. Even with that massive price drop, the Roland R88 probably still wasn't a smart purchase vs the Zoom F8, but the big drop in price at least made the R88 a somewhat competitive option worth mentioning in a round up of all the various choices. However, that sale is now long since ended, and the prices I see on eBay for a Roland R88 is even higher than what you used to be able to buy it new from B&H Photo! Clearly those eBay sellers are dreaming. 

Anyway, that was just one example which might have been applicable but isn't now, so I don't rule out the possibilities of something like that perhaps popping up again in the future especially if you very keenly look around for secondhand deals. But for over 95% of people reading this, that won't be applicable, and just stick to going with one of the main ones I mentioned earlier.

 

http://ironfilm.co.nz/which-sound-recorder-to-buy-a-guide-to-various-indie-priced-sound-recorders-in-2017/


It is interesting just how little this has changed since 2017 over two years ago. (could the same be said if I was giving an overview of cameras? Well the GH5 / a7Smk2 / FS7 / & others would still be there and going strong, but we'd see many more changes all in all!)

I'd mention the Tascam DR-05X alongside the Zoom H1 (which is now a Zoom H1n), nothing radical here though in their updates. 

A quick mention for the Marantz PMD-706 (an alternative to the Tascam DR70D?? Dunno, too few reviews out on the Marantz PMD-706). 

F8n/F6 of course get a mention. (The F8n and F8 having become even better than they were two years ago! Keeping their crown as the best sub $1K recorder. The F4/F8n still is a better choice for the aspiring PSM than the F6 is. However the F6 could be tempting for the solo shooter who does everything in house)

The MixPre10T would get a mention. (it is in a tough spot when it comes to pricing, is a lot more expensive than a Zoom F8n, get high enough up in price a person might just ask themselves why not go the whole hog and get a 633??)

The big BIG announcements in the last couple of years are the Sound Devices Scorpio and Zaxcom Nova, these are groundbreaking / game changing / buzzwording recorders! (Zaxcom Deva 24 is perhaps worth a mention too, which had already been pre-announced back when I first posted this thread, but didn't start shipping until a while later. Maybe also mention the Aaton Cantar Mini as well while we're about it? Was also announced around about this time, but I think wasn't shipping quite yet back then) However all four of these recorders are well outside the scope of 99% of the readers in this forum. (although I dream to own one of them one day! I have however got a Zaxcom Maxx / Zoom F8n / Zoom F4 / Tascam DR680 / Sound Devices 552, purchased in that order. Plus a couple of handheld recorders too)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, IronFilm said:


It is interesting just how little this has changed since 2017 over two years ago. (could the same be said if I was giving an overview of cameras? Well the GH5 / a7Smk2 / FS7 / & others would still be there and going strong, but we'd see many more changes all in all!)

I'd mention the Tascam DR-05X alongside the Zoom H1 (which is now a Zoom H1n), nothing radical here though in their updates. 

A quick mention for the Marantz PMD-706 (an alternative to the Tascam DR70D?? Dunno, too few reviews out on the Marantz PMD-706). 

F8n/F6 of course get a mention. (The F8n and F8 having become even better than they were two years ago! Keeping their crown as the best sub $1K recorder. The F4/F8n still is a better choice for the aspiring PSM than the F6 is. However the F6 could be tempting for the solo shooter who does everything in house)

The MixPre10T would get a mention. (it is in a tough spot when it comes to pricing, is a lot more expensive than a Zoom F8n, get high enough up in price a person might just ask themselves why not go the whole hog and get a 633??)

The big BIG announcements in the last couple of years are the Sound Devices Scorpio and Zaxcom Nova, these are groundbreaking / game changing / buzzwording recorders! (Zaxcom Deva 24 is perhaps worth a mention too, which had already been pre-announced back when I first posted this thread, but didn't start shipping until a while later. Maybe also mention the Aaton Cantar Mini as well while we're about it? Was also announced around about this time, but I think wasn't shipping quite yet back then) However all four of these recorders are well outside the scope of 99% of the readers in this forum. (although I dream to own one of them one day! I have however got a Zaxcom Maxx / Zoom F8n / Zoom F4 / Tascam DR680 / Sound Devices 552, purchased in that order. Plus a couple of handheld recorders too)

Yes, my new F4 arrived today. I know it's been out a while but it still feels like a good option. For years now I've been using a Tascam DR60D. The damn thing has been worked to death and it has never let me down. I do feel a bit guilty upgrading. But still the F4 is like a Porshe coming out of the box compared to the Tascam.  In any case, I always feel happier investing in sound gear for some reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ShaunC said:

Yes, my new F4 arrived today. I know it's been out a while but it still feels like a good option. For years now I've been using a Tascam DR60D. The damn thing has been worked to death and it has never let me down. I do feel a bit guilty upgrading. But still the F4 is like a Porshe coming out of the box compared to the Tascam.  In any case, I always feel happier investing in sound gear for some reason.


In terms of the sound world, the Zoom F4 is still very young!

I feel kinda guilty myself in upgrading from an F4 to an F8n then a Zaxcom Maxx so quickly!

Have used a Tascam DR60Dmk1 as well (it was what I had owned as a film student). 
Then went to a Sound Devices 552 / Tascam DR680 combo, then the Zoom F4, each step along that process from the DR60D was a BIG STEP UP!

You'll not regret the F4, is like night and day vs a DR60D in terms of all of features / ergonomics / quality 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...